The Secret Life of Bees () - IMDb
Lily and her nanny, Rosaleen, travel to South Carolina on a quest to find "the I liked her relationship with Zach, the young black bee keeper. station on the corner of West Market and Church Street, generally recognized. Rosaleen is the housekeeper and "stand-in mother" for Lily. 3. . A black farmer with a load of cantaloupes picks them up on his way to market and takes them within . What is the relationship of the queen bee to all the other bees in the hive?. Kidd writes beautifully of their relationship, its subtle workings and its fierce love. It is there that Lily and Rosaleen meet three sisters who welcome them into.
He wanted to tell her how her mother died so she wouldn't hear it from other people at school. What major event on television captures Rosaleen's total attention? President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act into law.
When Lily asks for the silver charm bracelet for her birthday, T. Ray just looks at her and then keeps on eating. What effect does his response have on her? I think now it was sorrow for the sound of his fork scraping the plate, the way it swelled in the distance between us, how I was not even in the room. During the overnight hours after she had asked for the charm bracelet, Lily sneaks out of the house and goes somewhere.
Where does she go? Lily waits "till it was late enough so I could slip out to the orchard and dig up the tin box that held my mother's things. I wanted to lie down in the orchard and let it hold me. Ray and the confines of the house and to go to a place where she can find some peace and comfort. Ray make Lily kneel down on the Martha White grits? He thinks she has been in the orchard with a boy. Kneeling on the grits is her punishment for acting "no better than a slut.
The morning after she is punished for being in the orchard, Lily wakes up late. Ray yells at her for not going to work at the peach stand on time. What does Lily understand after T.
Ray tells her, "As long as you're under my roof, you'll do what I say! Lily understands that "a new rooftop would do wonders" for her.
She understands that she needs to leave home. Why does Rosaleen want to go to town? She wants to register to vote. For what is Rosaleen arrested?
She is arrested for assault, theft, and disturbing the peace. Assignment 2 Chapters 1. When the dealer hits Rosaleen on the head with a flashlight and Lily screams, what is Mr. He puts his hand over Lily's mouth and says, "Hush. Ray gets Lily out of jail, they have a fight. Ray say to Lily that "would sink [her] forever"? The day she died, she'd come back to get her things, that's all.
You can hate me all you want, but she's the one who left you. After Lily pours the tear drop out of the bottom of the bee jar, she has a "true religious moment" and hears a voice say something.
What does the voice say? It says, "Lily Melissa Owens, your jar is open. Where does Lily go first when she leaves home, and how does she get there? She goes to the jail to see about Rosaleen. Brother Gerald picks her up along the road and takes her there. Why isn't Rosaleen at the jail when Lily goes back to see her? Gaston says Rosaleen had fallen and had been sent to the hospital for stitches and for observation because of a little concussion. How does Lily get Rosaleen out of the hospital?
Lily pretends to be the jailer's wife. She telephones the nurse's station and asks the nurse to tell the policeman at Rosaleen's room that Mr. Gaston needs him back at the jail. When the policeman leaves, Lily and Rosaleen escape from the hospital. Where do Lily and Rosaleen go after they escape from the hospital? How do they get there? Lily and Rosaleen go to Tiburon, South Carolina. A black farmer with a load of cantaloupes picks them up on his way to market and takes them within three miles of Tiburon.
After Lily and Rosaleen are dropped off outside of Tiburon, they have a fight and part ways for a short while. How and where do they get back together? Lily wakes up after dreaming the moon was falling in pieces from the sky. She searches for Rosaleen and finds her naked, bathing in the stream. Lily strips off her clothes and goes to Rosaleen. They apologize to each other. Lily holds her breath, and sinks "as far as [she] could into that shimmering, dark world.
What does she see? She sees a picture of a black Madonna that is exactly the same as her mother's. August is the beekeeper who makes the honey that goes into the black Madonna-labeled jars.
Assignment 3 Chapters 1. When Lily first arrives at the Boatwrights' house, she looks around and comes upon the black Madonna. How does the black Madonna make Lily feel? When August says, "Who've we got here? Lily introduces herself and Rosaleen and simply tells August that they have run away from home and have no place to go. August offers to let them stay until they can figure out what to do. Lily knows her mother was from Virginia and tells August that she and Rosaleen are headed to Virginia to find her aunt there.
What does August say that electrifies Lily? August says that she is from Virginia, too. What first lets Lily know she has some prejudice buried inside herself?
That's what let me know I had some prejudice buried inside me. What is odd about the stone wall Lily comes upon in the woods? It has tiny pieces of folded-up paper with writing on them stuck between the stones. What does May do when an unpleasant topic is brought up? What is the only thing that seems to help her get over it? May starts frantically singing, "Oh! How do June and August feel about Lily and Rosaleen? June doesn't want Lily and Rosaleen staying with them. She wants to send them away.
August, however, wants to help them, to be patient and see why they have dropped on the Boatwrights' doorstep. For what special help did Lily pray to Mary? I asked her to see to it that I never went back.
I asked her to draw a curtain around the pink house so no one would ever find us. I asked this daily. Name the rules for "bee yard etiquette. Don't be an idiot. If you feel angry, whistle. Act like you know what you're doing, even if you don't.
Send the bees love. August tells Lily how May is special. What does she say? It's like we have built-in protection around our hearts that keeps the pain from overwhelming us. But May--she doesn't have that.
Everything just comes to her--all the suffering out there--and she feels as if it's happening to her. She can't tell the difference. Who was April, and what happened to her? April was May's twin sister. She was unable to accept society's unfairness, became depressed, and killed herself at age What is the "wailing wall"?
It is a wall in Jerusalem where the Jewish people go to mourn. They write their prayers on scraps of paper and tuck them into the wall.
The Secret Life of Bees Study Guide Answer Key
June and August came up with the idea of a wailing wall to help May deal with her issues. What does Lily do at the wailing wall? She puts her mother's name on a slip of paper into the wall. Assignment 4 Chapters 1. When Neil appears on the scene, what does Lily learn about him and June from May? She learns that Neil wants to marry June, but she has been putting him off for a long time. June was jilted at the altar by a previous fiancee. Who are The Daughters of Mary?
They are a group of women and one man who meet at the Boatwrights' house to honor and pray to Mary. Briefly re-tell the story of Our Lady of Chains. The slaves had prayed to the Lord for help.
One day a slave named Obadiah found a statue of a black woman with her fist sticking up. He heard the statue say, "It's all right. I'll be taking care of you now. They sang and prayed and came to touch her heart, and she filled their hearts with fearlessness and whispered plans of escape to them. The slaves began escaping to the north. The masters removed the statue from the praise house and chained it into the barn 50 times, but each time the statue miraculously broke the chains and reappeared in the praise house.
So she became known as Our Lady of Chains--not because she wore chains, but because she broke them. What happens when Lily goes to touch the heart of Our Lady of Chains? June stops playing, Lily freezes with her arm outstretched towards Mary, realizes she is not "one of them," hears herself calling to Mary, and faints. What is Lily's first impression of Zach?
She thinks he is handsome and feels that they will become friends. What surprises Zach about Lily? Lily tells Zach, "You've got to hear of these things before you can imagine them. He says, "You've gotta imagine what's never been. What feelings does Lily discover when she and Zach go into the country to harvest honey?
She is surprised to discover that she is attracted to Zach. When Zach stops at a stop sign next to the Dixie Cafe, Lily declares she "will never throw rose petals to anybody. Lily breaks down crying, and Zach comforts her.
How does Lily feel about Rosaleen's moving to May's room? She feels abandoned, hurt, and lonely. What happens when Neil and June are picking tomatoes? Neil brings up the subject of marriage again. June tells him she will never get married, and they have a big fight which ends in Neil's driving off with June telling him never to come back and throwing tomatoes at his car. Assignment 5 Chapter 8 1. What does Lily learn from August while they are pasting labels on the jars of honey?
She learns how and why the black Madonna came to be on the jar labels, and she learns about August's personal history--how she was from Richmond but loved to come here to her grandmother's house, and how she came to own it. What does August say is the whole problem with people? They know what matters, but they don't choose it. What is the relationship of the queen bee to all the other bees in the hive? The queen is the mother of every bee in the hive.
How does Lily feel when she and August go to collect honey, and the bees come out and fly around her? Look who's here, it's Lily. She is so weary and lost. Come on, bee sisters.
I was the stamen in the middle of a twirling flower. The center of all their comforting. What news does Zach bring on the lunch feast day? Jack Palance, the movie star, is coming to town with a black woman and plans to sit with her in the white section of the movie theater.
Who does Lily call from Mr. Ray to ask him if he knows her favorite color. Lily writes a letter to T.
'Secret Life of Bees' A Moving Tale : NPR
Ray then tears it up. That night, what did Lily do in the parlor? She touched the heart of Mary, Our Lady of Chains, and prayed to her. Assignment 6 Chapter 9 1. What is the result of Lily and June's fighting over the water sprinkler? They both end up laughing, and June hugs Lily.
What does Lily say about people having steel plates in their heads? The real troubles in life happen when those hidden doors stay closed for too long.
What does Lily discover May doing that made her have a strange, thick feeling inside and made her feel trembly? May works at luring roaches out of the house with graham cracker and marshmallow crumbs, just like Lily's mother did. What critical piece of information does May tell Lily? May tells Lily that Deborah Fontanel stayed out in the honey house and was "the sweetest thing.
The Secret Life Of Bees
What happens when Zach and Lily ride to town to get a new radiator hose? There's a scene where you confront the racist, as you're saying, as you're on your way to vote. And it's very hard to watch, particularly that you can't make eye contact with them.
And as a woman who clearly is used to make an eye contact with people It was definitely hard. It was just like - but like I said, what was hard is the fact to know these things actually took place. It was once like that.
And the most important and shocking part for me was the fact it wasn't that long ago, and to be someone who has a serious habit of looking people dead in their face when I speak to them, to going to being treated like nothing, not even a human being, and not being able to give someone eye contact or have the freedom to do whatever I want to do, you know, and I had to fight for that, that just - it's still shocking to me.
This is how informative it was in developing my character. I never realized that - wow! It never occurred to me people are still walking around from that time because to us But it was just 40 years ago, and why it seems so long ago is because it was a lifetime of change that took place and where we've come from as America and African-Americans.
Gina, what about you? You weren't grown during those times. How did you think about that time, create the environment of both hostility and poignancy and the emotional toll that it took on people? I think one of the revelations, I think, of this film, for many people, will be the emotional toll that that kind of oppression placed on people.
I mean, as a writer and director, my favorite part of the process is research. And the research has fed so much for me along the - a lot of great documentaries for little girls that Spike Lee did. And just for those who don't know, June being the cello-playing music teacher, quite elegant, not in love with this whole business of this little white girl coming to stay in her house, and And kind of interfere with her relationship with her sisters.
But the best research I had was - my husband's family is from South Carolina. And so to talk to his aunts who were teenagers at the time this film takes place in - you know, the Civil Rights Act just being signed - what was so striking and what we really brought to the actors and to the film is that, you know, every time you see a film or TV show about the '60s, it's only about the struggle, like that's completely at the forefront.
And what's great about the book and I hope about the film is that it shows that lives were still going on. People were falling in love. They had jobs, they had businesses, they had friends, they went to church.
There was a whole life going on and the movement was there, but it was not absolutely everything. The thing that a lot of the women I spoke to talked about was it was a time of enormous hope, like, you can suddenly see a brightness, you know, with this law being passed. It was an exciting time. You saw the change was actually happening, and that just really struck me because I fell into that trap of that the '60s, it's just about the movement, and the movement was a huge part of it, obviously, but I think it's arrogant, I think, for some to question that our lives were only determined by how white folks treated us at that time.
But there is a character, Sue, I wanted to talk to you about. May, who basically lives the pain of the world. And that is another one of those characters I don't think we've seen before, and I wonder where you came up with that character.
One of the things I think people like about the book and also about the film, or will like about the film, is the characters live their anger but they also live their sadness, but the sadness is something that I don't think we've seen a lot of, as Gina was just saying. Where did May come from? Well, I don't know anybody like May. I certainly didn't base her on anyone that I knew of. But I was very fascinated by the idea that there could be a person who was so overwhelmed with the pathos of the world and took that into their heart.
And what would this person be like, and what would it do to this person? I think a lot of it was driven by the idea that compassion is so lacking. You know, we have such an abundance of cynicism and bitterness, and what it seems like we need a good dose of - of course, May had an overdose of it, which was the point. I mean, it was the point to say, perhaps we ought to get a picture of some compassion in this world, and maybe we have to see it in this extremity.
Jennifer, the film also deals with - I don't know another way to put it - the class divisions in the black community, and you get the sense when Rosaleen first encounters the Boatwright sisters that she's just not sure what to make of these shallow, plain, pink house living in, you know, women.
And I wonder, as a person - you know, you've had a journey in your own life from, you know, just being regular like the rest of us to being a star, a major international star. Have you experienced that, just a sense of people not really understanding you?
I think people have a hard time identifying with it, getting used to it, you know. But that's OK because it just helps you stand out so much more. But what about that whole question of that people in the African-American community not always understanding each other because some have more, some have less, being used to being thought of as one group from the outside, but acutally there is lots of difference within the group?
That's a tough question. I don't really know how to answer that. But I think it's just a matter of not being open or being open, and limiting yourselves. It's like - it's like I said, I'm stuck on this one. Gina, help me out here! I would like to say that one of my favorite parts of the film is Roseleen's journey. I just thought it was fascinating that as Sue said, it's not just Lily that has a transformation but Rosaleen.
And one of the ways that I wanted to illustrate that, which is subtle and not everyone is going to get it, but in the beginning, Rosaleen's character, she's a nanny, she has a sixth grade education and her hair is straight. But when she gets to the Boatwright house, and these amazing women who are educated and cultured and have money, their hair is all natural.
And part of it is growing up with this Black Madonna, and again, believing that who you are, who God made you, you know, you're fine that way.
And as she stays at the Boatwright house, you see her hair changing. By the end her hair is natural, just like Alicia, June, who has an Afro, and August, and May, who's got these great braids. So that was one subtle way of showing it.
But she is someone that learns that she can aspire to more by being around these women. She had never seen black women like that, and here now she gets to live with these women and grow and change, as well. And I think that was also a part of, like, her struggle and what she was fighting for. It's like she knew that in the state that she was originally in, you know, there's more than just this.
And when she made it to the Boatwright sisters, it's like, wow, this is what I wanted to be. I knew it was something on the other side, you know, and a part of nowhere. She's speaking like Rosaleen speaks and all of the sudden she corrects herself because she's like, oh, wow! Let me catch up, you know. It turns out to be people she admires, and you know, would like to be like. Gina, what are you hoping people will draw from this film? You know, what I love about the film, about the book is that, you know, it shows, I think Sue said it best, this group of people who are completely different, from completely different worlds coming together, overcoming barriers and working together.
There's a great theme of optimism is courageous, and I think that is so important for this time. And it just shows, again, how far we've come in 40 years as a nation to this point. You know, when were shooting this in January is when Obama won South Carolina so big, and that just infused the cast and crew with such - it was just such an amazing feeling because again, we're shooting a film that takes place in And at that time, you know, people would have said, well, black folks will have a chance to vote some day but not in my lifetime.
And now today, I can say even a year and a half ago, I was saying, my son is going to be the first black president. It's going to happen, just, you know, not in my lifetime, and now here we are today. So it was such a great time, but really just hope that people come out feeling good because I think it's such a heartfelt film and story, and it really is about people coming together and loving each other and making universal need for belonging and family. Sue, you handed your baby to these women to raise.
How do you feel about it? Well, I saw the movie for the first time - I guess it was a couple of weeks ago. And I have to say I'm extremely pleased with it. They did a beautiful job from the script to the direction to the performances.
So I'm a happy novelist about that. It's a beautiful film, actually. What do you want people to draw from it? I hope they draw from it the same thing that they drew from the book. You know, I've heard from so many readers, and they all tell me different things that this book meant to them. Do you hear different things from black people and white people?
I hear about the importance of family and love and belonging, this universal kind of quest.
And I hear about the Black Madonna, which is this iconic figure in the novel that as Gina said gives the sense of feminine dark divinity, of helping women to understand that they, too, have that kind of sacred divine image in them. I hear a lot about that from white women and black women. I think I would like them to see this as a sense of family connections, but also to see that historic backdrop of the civil rights movement, to understand that this is a story from our past, but we have to have that story in order to make a story in the future.
We need to understand that because there is still change that has to happen in the human heart. Jennifer Hudson is an Oscar Award-winning actress. She co-stars in the film. Gina Prince-Bythewood wrote the screenplay and is the director of the film, and they were all here with me in our Washington studio.